The Minimum Number of Clubs in Golf Bag

Minimum Number of Clubs in Golf Bag

So you are new to golfing and you found yourself asking “what golf clubs should I carry” without having a definite answer. Don’t worry. In this article, we are going to solve the puzzle behind the set of clubs and the maximum amount of clubs your are allowed to bring in your golf bag heading to a golf play or, more importantly, a golf tournament.

Rules of golf

A player is basically allowed a maximum of fourteen (14) clubs in a golf bag if a round is to be played under the rules of golf.

Less than 14 clubs in a golf bag

It is allowed in the rules of golf to play a round with clubs fewer than the maximum allowed (which, as mentioned, is 14).

Option to add golf clubs

In the event a player begins a round with fewer than 14 clubs, he may be allowed to add clubs while in play under certain conditions:

  1. That the act is not causing a delay in play
  2. That the clubs are not from another player

More than 14 clubs in a golf bag

What happens when you exceed the 14 clubs limit? As a player who wants to play golf like professionals do, counting your clubs before putting yourself in play is important as there is a penalty involved when exceed the limit.

Exceeding 14 clubs penalty

The consequences for playing with more than 14 clubs in the bag depends on the type of game being played. In match play, you’d get a hole deduction in your score for each hole you play exceeding the clubs limit – up to two holes deduction. In stroke play, you’d be deducted two strokes for each hole with clubs limit violated – up to four strokes.

It should be noted that disqualification is the original penalty to violating the clubs limit. The current structure of penalties were introduced to the rules in 1968.

Why the limit in golf clubs?

The limit was basically in place to regulate the number of clubs players can bring in play which in turn make players become more creative with course maneuvers. Other known benefits include:

  • Keeps the golf bag easy to carry around (14 is already heavy)
  • Keeps the costs down (14 is already expensive)
  • Allows for more creative shots

Does the putter count in the 14 clubs?

Looking at the typical composition of the standard 12 clubs in a golf club, putter is counted as one.

What are the 14 clubs in a golf bag?

The standard 12 clubs in many golf bags may include the following:

  • Three (3) woods – driver, 3-wood and 5-wood
  • Eight (8) irons – 3-9 iron and pitching wedge
  • Putter

The last two clubs to complete the 14 would depend on the player’s preference and play needs. A player can opt to add hybrid driver for the fairway or add in a lob wedge and a sand wedge.

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